I’ve argued in favour of statutory regulation for counselling and psychotherapy, and for making those professions protected titles. An argument against regulation is that those struck off from the profession would simply give themselves other titles, such “life coach” or “mentor”, which aren’t regulated or protected.
I’ve since discovered that there’s an International Regulator of Coaching and Mentoring, which operates as a community interest company. But is it really a regulator?
In May 2014 the Health and Care Professions Council made a heavily-criticised decision not to strike off a clinical psychologist who had been found to have committed serious sexual misconduct. John McCarron was instead given a one-year suspension.
The Professional Standards Authority has now referred the decision to the High Court. The hearing will be on 22nd January 2015. I’m pleased that such a highly-questionable outcome will receive further scrutiny.
I recently completed some postgraduate study in systemic and family therapy, which I did in order to help me work more effectively with the very vulnerable families that come into contact with child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). What I didn’t expect was the way it made me reflect on communication between various agencies, and how bizarre and dysfunctional it can be. There was a prime example of this on Twitter today, courtesy of @debecca.
People with mental health problems sometimes have physical health problems. In fact, they’re statistically more likely to have such problems than those who don’t have a mental health problem. There are a number of reasons for this: if you have a mental health problem, you’re more likely to live in poverty, or in substandard housing, to have a poor diet, to be engaging in risky behaviour or drug/alcohol use, to be experiencing the side-effects of psychiatric medications, and so on. And of course, there’s the simple fact that people with mental health problems are people, and people sometimes get sick.